Monthly Archives: January 2014

The MORNE JAUNE chapel of St. Theresa of the child Jesus


This chapel was renovated some years ago, between 2004- 2005, when Fr. Vincent Esprit FMI was parish priest. This was the first time I experimented with a slightly curved suspended ceiling in a small chapel and found the acoustical qualities impressive.    Since that time I have become  bolder and bolder in designing and executing curved ceilings in various chapels, such as in Loubiere, Belle vue Chopin, Capuchin, Cockrane, Bourne and Capuchin. Some of these ceilings I posted on this website for your review.

The parishioners in Morne Jaune have done an excellent job in the upkeep of their chapel, on which they worked very hard.  The contractor was John Hope better know as “PABLO”.

Inside Morne Jaune chapel  May 2006

The celebrant is George Guillet, FMI.      He was a French missionary who worked extremely hard in and devoted his life to  several parishes in St. Lucia and Dominica.

a little flower on each pew in the Chapel dedicated to THE LITTLE FLOWER

a little flower on each pew in the Chapel dedicated to THE LITTLE FLOWER


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Progress report on the National Shrine in Pointe Michel

view inside uncovered Pointe Michel church on January 30, 2014

view inside uncovered Pointe Michel church on January 30, 2014

Pointe Michel church uncovered by January 31, 2014

Pointe Michel church uncovered by January 31, 2014

The uncovering and inspection work on the roof of the Pointe Michel church is almost complete. As expected quite a lot of timber has to be changed.

Engineers Wendell Lawrence, Kendall Johnson and Bernard Lauwyck performed an inspection of the existing roof today and found it weak in several areas.

Mr. Stevenson JOSEPH the contractor will have to do additional work such as bolting down, welding, casting of roof beams, etc.

To be continued.


Permission has been given to start phase I of the construction of the new HOLY FAMILY chapel at MAHAUT.

Below is a photograph of the groundbreaking ceremony. P1060690

The 20 years’old dream of the worshippers in Mahaut is finally becoming a reality. In October 2006, Fr. Rodney Olive C.Ss.R. organised a liturgical space workshop, which was very well attended. Out of this workshop came ideas, which were developed in subsequent building committee meetings. This lengthy consultative process was completed when Diocesan Engineer Bernard Lauwyck presented the proposed design and drawings to the congregation.
Planning Permission for this building was granted on ..


Church at Pointe Michel before Hurricane DAVID

Just to let you know, that Rev. Fr. Peter Wamutitu received conditional permission from Bishop Gabriel Malzaire to start next week on the roof repairs and restoration of the church in Pointe Michel. Contractor Steve Joseph and the Diocesan Engineer Bernard Lauwyck are working out the technical details and contractual requirements.

The church was emptied of its furnishing on Saturday January 18, 2014.

As time goes on, photographs will be posted on the project.

January 20, 2014 uncover the roof to check the condition of the rafters and wall plates

January 20, 2014 uncover the roof to check the condition of the rafters and wall plates


Enthusiasm is running high in Dublanc, as the renovation of the chapel is coming to an end. Soon the congregation, parishioners and friends from the rest of the Diocese will be able to walk in procession from “the house” where they are worshipping during the renovationworks, to their newly renovated chapel. The Chapel will be rededicated and blessed by Bishop Gabriel Malzaire.

Dublanc chapel Jan 21 2014

Ceiling works in progress
new ceiling designed by Bernard Lauwyck

new ceiling designed by Bernard Lauwyck

Dublanc ceiling in progress JAN 2014I will update this article every week as the different works are completed.

Dublanc chapel 1978 to 2013

Dublanc chapel 1978 to 2013

interior chapel of DUBLANC from 1978 to 2013

interior chapel of DUBLANC from 1978 to 2013

The renovated SANCTUARY of The National Shrine of Dominica

SANCTUARY of the National Shrine

BEFORE THE RENOVATION  the sanctuary Pointe Michel in 2006

One of my projects which I enjoyed very much doing was the upgrading of the liturgical space at the National Shrine, dedicated to Our Lady of LA SALETTE, in Pointe Michel.

It posed unique challenges among others the preparing  of a concept and design, planning the proposed works in different manageable phases ,  and promoting the project.

Monsignor Reginald La Fleur, the parish priest,  was of the opinion that fundraising for the renovation of the church was bogged down as people did not see anything happening after many years of raising money.  He felt that the roof renovation works should be preceded by some works of enhancement and beauty which would re-energize the fundraising for the necessary roof works.   Today, three years later, his vision bore fruits as the roof renovation works are about to start.Dominica's National Shrine in 2006 before the renovation work

Step 1: working with the “LIVING STONES OF THE CHURCH”:

The parishioners had to be consulted and motivated. They had to “seen” in their minds what was proposed and understand why it was proposed.

I started off with a PowerPoint presentation in March 2009 to provide a visual guideline for the proposed renovation works.  The presentation was based on the latest liturgical guidelines and aimed to inspire and open minds to beautiful, yet meaningful and religious symbolic improvements.

The following points were presented in the PowerPoint presentation:

  • Bishop Arnold Boghaert designated Pointe Michel church in 1983 as the National Shrine of Dominica, dedicated to Our Lady of La Salette.
  • The 1983 Code of Canon Law ( 1230-1234) outlines the requirements for shrines.
  • The National Shrine should be centre of devotion and prayer, of genuine religious intensity !
  • Norms regarding a National Shrine state that the shrine should be easily accessible. This means for our shrine that a ramp needs to be constructed.
  • The Norms also require that the shrine is a place that will promote the faith of pilgrims.
  • A National Shrine should be a worthy and exemplary space for Liturgy.
  • Noble simplicity is one of the criteria for National Shrines
  • The importance of a beautiful sanctuary with the Altar as focal point: this can be achieved by upgrading the floor, wall and ceiling finishes. Also by manufacturing exquisite furnishings such as :


The AMBO: the Place of the Word: a dignified place to proclaim the Word of God.

The presider’s or celebrant’s CHAIR as he represents Christ presiding over the liturgy

The Reservation or Tabernacle should have a special place in this church

Highlighting the shrine of Our Lady of La Salette by colouring the statues of

Our Lady   and the two children.

  • Install conduits to hide all microphone lines.

The congregation decided to start with the Sanctuary: local timber panelling and ceramic floor tiles. 

Step 2: design and choice of materials

To find the right tiles for the sanctuary I had to make three trips to Guadeloupe, where the choice of ceramic tiles is enormous.  I finally settle on a tile 20” x 20” looking like white marble but not expensive as marble.

Parishioners got the Forestry Division to provide them with local Red Cedar boards. These were still wet and had to be dried for at least 6 months before they could use.

In the mean time a layout for the floor tiles was designed by my office and the religious symbol in the Red Cedar panelling: the quatrefoil.

Research on Our Lady of la Salette gave us the colours of the statue of Or Lady and the two children. The flowers at Our Lady’s feet brought the whole ensemble to life.FEAST of LA SALETTE Sept 2010

Step 3 : the construction work started

With the installation of the conduits and cement screed for the floor tiles, placing of the floor tiles, preparing and installation of the varnished Red Cedar panelling.

Aug 2010 159New Red Cedar panelling and ceramci floor tiles Pointe Michel

The sanctuary was painted, new lights installed. The final touch was a new Red Cedar Ambo.AMBO  Sept 2010 139





Bishop Gabriel Malzaire celebrated the feast of Our Lady of La Salette in the newly renovated sanctuary.

The two side chapels were panelled at a later date.FEAST OF LA SALETTE P1030718Feast of Our Lady of La Salete